Note to recruiters

Note to recruiters: We are quite aware that recruiters, interviewers, VCs and other professionals generally perform a Google Search before they interview someone, take a pitch from someone, et cetera. Please keep in mind that not everything put on the Internet must align directly to one's future career and/or one's future product portfolio. Sometimes, people do put things on the Internet just because. Just because. It may be out of their personal interests, which may have nothing to do with their professional interests. Or it may be for some other reason. Recruiters seem to have this wrong-headed notion that if somebody is not signalling their interests in a certain area online, then that means that they are not interested in that area at all. It is worth pointing out that economics pretty much underlies the areas of marketing, strategy, operations and finance. And this blog is about economics. With metta, let us. by all means, be reflective about this whole business of business. Also, see our post on "The Multi-faceted Identity Problem".

Thursday, July 9, 2015

ECONOMICS: Should foreigners be charged more?

Should foreigners be charged more?

That is a sign from either the Mysore Zoo or the Somnathpur temple in Mysore. It may well be some other place. It doesn't matter. This practice of charging foreigners more is commonplace all over India. At virtually every major tourist attraction, you see something like this. The question is : is it fair to charge foreigners more? I used to feel differently about this. It seemed to me, at one point, grossly unfair. But I have now made my peace with it. It is just a case of price discrimination.

Price discrimination is used in a variety of industrial sectors. (For example: you pay a lot more for cellphones than people in other countries, e.g. India.) This particular instance seems to be a form of subsidy to Indian nationals, which seems okay. As I was saying, there is price discrimination going on in many other tourist attractions as well. And why is that? Because it is more costly for the government to go after someone who does deface monuments and other tourist structures if he is a foreigner. Why not pass the cost along to the consumer? It is annoying, yes, but I think it is because it is so in-your-face. It is not because it is inherently unfair.

Even in the United States, there is virtually the exact same phenomenon going on with out-of-state tuition rates. Out-of-state tuition rates are often ridiculously high. And then, these higher rates are used to subsidize people who are from the state. This is not unfair. It is just the economics of the matter. It is just the way the cookie crumbles.

Acknowledgements: picture courtesy Bhaskaran Raman (modulo some minor photoshopping).